Weekend Brunch Tutorial: French Toast

I make french toast for brunch once every weekend. I think I landed on french toast because it's so easy--the bread is already made, you just dunk it and brown it.  Over time, it's turned into quite the weekend ritual.

When it comes to meal preparation, I think it all comes down to two things: good ingredients, and presentation.  Which brings us to real maple syrup. There is no substitute.  It's okay that it costs more--it's so very sweet that a little goes a long way. But cold syrup on warm food is a quick way to kill the mood of a meal, so the first thing I always do is take off the lid and place the glass jar of real maple syrup into a small saucepan of water and turn it on medium-low to warm.

 Next I crack some eggs (one per person) into a shallow pan. I usually use my pie pan.  Add a splash of milk and a dash of cinnamon and mix it up for some dipping magic.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a wide pan.  Swirl it around.  Take some GOOD bread (remember: good ingredients), and with a fork dunk it in the egg mixture, flip, then into the pan it goes.  When browned on the bottom, turn it over.

While it's cooking, I rinse some fresh berries, and turn on the kettle to make the coffee.  (We have one french press for regular, and one for decaf. It's a his and hers thing.) If I don't have berries, another alternative is to slice an apple thinly with a mandoline.  I serve the slices on top of the french toast with one more sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Coffee preparation includes pulling out some favorite mugs. I especially adore mugs that past the four-finger test, meaning all four fingers can comfortably fit inside the handle.  

Then I like to arrange slices on the plates, pictured below with fresh berries and a dollup of fresh cream.  I'll do anything to get some color, beauty, and fruit on the plate. (Presentation, people.)

The warm syrup goes into this tiny pitcher for comfortable pouring (that glass jar gets hot--handle with mitts) and to encourage moderate portions.

Presentation goes all the way to the table. I like a clean table that looks as pretty as the food and china pitcher.  So all the crayons and papers and crumbs are swept away.  I like a little ambiance in my dining experience.

So that's how weekend brunch rolls at our place. What's your favorite weekend ritual?